Donors and Investors

Construction Techniques

Our full-size/full-performance Spitfire uses a combination of two well-proven construction techniques. Fuselage bulkhead frames, wing and tail ribs, spars, and beams utilize classic aircraft spruce and plywood design.

  • Four massive main fuselage beams handle the loads for the big V-12 and tie together the engine, fuselage, and wing mounting into one solid structure.
  • 18 spruce and plywood fuselage frames form the Spitfire's fuselage curves.
  • 19 built-up spruce truss style ribs, and two massive laminated Douglas fir/plywood spars in each wing provide a trustworthy wing structure that's appropriate for the power and speed of the Spitfire.

The beautiful rounded shape of the Spitfire's fuselage is built with the 'ply-balsa-ply' sandwich skin construction used so successfully on another classic British WWII design, the Mosquito. These sandwich skins add tremendous stiffness and strength, yet offer low weight. The skins are comprised of a 1/4" vertical grain balsa core with 1/16"birch plywood skins bonded to both sides. A clever method of building the sandwich skin in place on the aircraft eliminates the need to build large molds or fixtures. The sandwich skins eliminate the sagging or 'rippled' look found on many thin plywood-skinned aircraft and provide a very smooth finish surface.

The use of both classic construction methods and the wood sandwich skins result in an aircraft that is two thousand pounds (a ton) lighter than the original Spitfire Mk, IX, yet is stressed to 10G ultimate load. At 2,000 pounds lighter with the 1200 horsepower Allison V-12, the SAC Spitfire will easily outperform any original MK, IX you happen to fly. Your acceleration and rate of climb, will be nothing short of breath taking. Turning performance, maneuverability, low speed handling, and balanced field length will be noticeably better than a metal Spitfire.